I've got objections to this "higher level" thing too. I don't see my permit as some sort of "writ of honor". Instead, I see it more as a sort of "pre-screen" against potential "pre-crime", something which at the moment is needed in order to make part of the American Promise a reality here in Georgia, and I am very thankful to have my permit.
Yes, I also do find it useful for reciprocity. On the other side of that, there was a time in my life when I thought carrying weapons -- any weapon -- was perfectly legal anywhere in the US as long as the weapon was carried openly. I've since been disabused of that notion, however I still wonder why such isn't the case.
"...shall not be infringed..." doesn't say "after jumping through hoops", or "in accordance with (so called) "reasonable restrictions", or "openly only but not concealed", or "only after being investigated first"... It says "shall not be infringed" without any qualifiers at all.
People have said that we must have hoops in order to make (non-private) purchases of certains machines, again catering to that "pre-crime" nonsense. Okay, well, I find my permit useful for that too. Being already "pre-screened", some of the hoops needed for me to make a (non-private) purchase have already been jumped through, ahead of time.
I am very thankful for my permit, but this "higher level" thing, I don't think so. Ultimately I see the proper place for a permit system to be along the lines of "certain administrative burdens already handled" leaving the question of "what are the proper administrative burdens, if any?" still unanswered. It's a "pre-screen" and nothing more IMHO.
Having, possessing, carrying, even purchasing the means of defense should never be an issue. How those means are used is always the issue. It is in the use where the potential for crime exists and no amount of "pre-crime" nonsense can ever address that -- "pre-crime" doesn't focus on the issue, it only pretends to.
People say "but what about vetting?" The vetting happens in the act itself. That's how real life works. If seeing that I have a permit will help to communicate to a LEO some reassurance or veracity regarding me once he arrives on scene after an "oh sh#it!" moment has occured, well so much the better. Maybe it'll help make his job easier.
Like that old Roman said long ago, "The crime isn't in carrying a sword -- the crime is in carrying a sword with intent to commit malice" (mis-quoted but that's the jist).
Just my two cents. I am very thankful for my permit and the more "administrative burdens" pre-handled by it, the better. The more it helps to reassure a LEO, the better... I volunteered to submit to investigatory scrutiny before such scrutiny became a dire neccesity in response to an unforeseen event. Hopefully doing so will help both me and society.
To my mind, that is the proper function of a "permit" -- not so much to "allow" (which is currently the case) but rather to "reassure" or to "smooth the way"... But "higher level"? I don't think so.